On June 23, the Francis family, city officials and regular customers celebrated The Depot Café, recognizing it as the oldest family-owned business in Frisco, Texas. Dennis Francis, the restaurant’s owner, was six years old when his father first opened Henry’s Grocery store on Frisco’s Main Street in 1959. Over the past 55 years, the business has evolved from a supermarket, convenience store, gas station, deli and now local eatery hotspot. Throughout every change, the Francis family has maintained their ownership.
“Frisco has undergone rapid change through the years, so we love having a place that preserves some of that old-town feel,” said Francis. “We’ve become a meeting spot for longtime Frisco residents. Everybody here is family.”
When Henry’s Grocery opened, Main Street was still the social hub of the town where farmers and locals would gather. As times changed, Henry’s Grocery changed along with them, converting part of the store into a deli in the late 1980s. When Henry died in 1996, Dennis bought the store from his mom and expanded the deli into The Depot Café. Despite the alterations, the café still retains its sense of history with sage green walls decorated with railroad memorabilia and old photos. The café is known for its good home-style cooking, like fried catfish and okra. Many customers are greeted by name.
“In this world of generic shopping centers, this still has that old-town feel,” said Rick Fletcher, a board member for the Heritage Association of Frisco. “We’re trying to celebrate mom-and-pop businesses here. We’re trying to preserve the local color, character, culture of old downtown. The Depot Café does just that.”
Dennis has managed to preserve the 65 years of history at the family-owned store, all while continuing to adapt to local changes. Dennis watched his father’s business successfully grow as he altered and expanded the original little grocery store. When it was his turn to take over, Dennis understood that the right changes and adaptations can lead to success. At ReGENERATION Partners, we believe that adaptability is essential for long-term success. Call us today and we’ll work with you to understand what changes might be necessary to ensure your business success in the future.